Women taking HRT for 10 years after menopause have a 'significantly reduced' risk of mortality, heart failure and heart attack without increased risk of cancer, DVT or stroke, a study by the BMJ suggests.
Researchers in Denmark carried out a randomised trial over 16 years, to establish if HRT can reduce cardiovascular (CV) risk if started early. A sample of 1,006 women (504 on HRT; 502 not on HRT) was included All participants were white, healthy, recently menopausal and age 45-58.
After 10 years of randomised treatment, patients were encouraged to discontinue HRT. During this period, 26 women in the non-HRT group died and 33 died or experienced a CV end-point, compared to 15 deaths and 16 deaths or CV end-points in the HRT group.
In the subsequent six years, the primary end-point was seen in 53 women in the non-HRT group (40 deaths, eight heart failures and five heart attacks) and 33 in the HRT group (27 deaths, three heart failures and three heart attacks).
Causes of death were 23 CV deaths and 17 non-CV deaths in the non-HRT group and six CV deaths and 21 non-CV deaths in the HRT group.